Friday, July 8, 2011

Edithvale Wetlands, Magpie Goose

After discovering that a pair of Magpie Geese were seen at Edithvale, I swiftly took the first opportunity I could get, which was on Saturday last week. The regular journey was to catch a train from Bentleigh and walk down Edithvale road. At the traffic lights outside the bird hide I thought I heard a Spotted Pardalote under the roar of the surprisingly busy traffic (uncharacteristic for this location in my experience) and on closer approach I confirmed this delightful little bird in a tree nearby. A few minutes walk and I checked the large pond to the left of the path; the exact sort of place I'd expect to see a Magpie Goose(geese) and the place where the photo on Monday appeared to be taken. There was a ton of waterfowl here including many Pacific Black, Chestnut Teal and a few scattered Australian Wood Duck, but no sign of any geese. A few Swamphen popped out of the reeds and I resumed my walk on the path. I checked the opposite pond to the right and a single Swamp Harrier appeared over the reeds, gliding in its characteristic v-wing posture. I was about to turn away when another appeared, where they began soaring together before disappearing over the trees.

I had started to lose hope for finding these Magpie Goose, when I walked past the Rossdale golf course. The shores of the dam there were also littered in resting ducks, mostly Aus Wood, but a slightly more contrasting individual at the back caught my eye. As soon as I caught it in the viewfinder, I could confirm that this was it. I had finally found it. I stood around for about ten minutes trying to get it to lift its head, but to no avail. After trying many methods, the only way I succeeded was by jumping up and down, which caused it (and everything else) to shoot their heads up. Go figure.

Taking a few shots, I then realized that nearby was the other bird; the immature individual, whose presence was only let down by its long neck.

I hung around a bit longer, took a few extra shots, and called it.
Not a bad bird to end the day.

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